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03-21-2011, 01:28 PM   #1
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What's your fav light modifier for portable flashes?

I'm just getting a lot more interested in portable flash modifiers and am interested to see pictures you are getting with these light modifiers and perhaps links or pics of the modifiers themselves if they are DIY, etc.

I just took my first picture with a Honl 1/8" Honeycomb grid and I'll show you a picture in a sec if i can get it uploaded. any tips appreciated. In the picture below, the idea of the lampshade is not original with me, but a strobist community idea

[IMG]
[/IMG]

If you see the round disc of light centered about on my hands and reaching onto the walls, thats from the Honl grid. the softness of the circle is typical of grids vice a snoot, i've read.

Anyway, please contribute any portable useful accessories you have for your portable flash. I'm trying more for a learning thread (for me probably) than anything else

best wishes,

03-21-2011, 05:38 PM   #2
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I made a small diffuser for my flash that I use when I'm shooting events.


03-21-2011, 05:51 PM   #3
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For macro stuff, without having a dedicated ring flash, I got the very unfancy O-flash attachment that allows for decent P-TTL ring flashing for close focus lighting.

Portraiture, I'm old fashioned - off-camera diffused lighting by shoot-through or reflective umbrella. Next best thing to a good soft-box IMO. Plus I much prefer the textured results from non-axial lighting sources.
03-21-2011, 06:34 PM   #4
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Depending upon what I am doing I will often use a bit of cheesecloth or tracing/tissue paper, occasionally the white semi-see through top of a little storage box I have. What ever is handy, that's what I use. I'm a think out of the box type. If I don't have it? I just improvise.

03-21-2011, 10:48 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
Depending upon what I am doing I will often use a bit of cheesecloth or tracing/tissue paper, occasionally the white semi-see through top of a little storage box I have. What ever is handy, that's what I use. I'm a think out of the box type. If I don't have it? I just improvise.
Thats the kind of suggestion thats worth a lot. I saw a guy use a rolled up tube of tin foil in some article that was being used as snoot.

So magkelly, what kinds of shapes do you use for what purposes - any examples you would care to mention? I'm not thinking so much of the wide angle light envelope, but where one wants more discrete effects.
03-22-2011, 10:51 AM   #6
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I use a pretty standard set up. I mount my K10D on a Stroboframe Quick Flip Stroboframe Quick Flip 350 Bracket 310-635 B&H Photo Video I mount my AF360FGZ onto the Pentax hot shoe adapters and coiled short cord onto the bracket and connected to the camera hot shoe. I mount a Photoflex XTC softbox onto the flash (unless I need longer distances). Photoflex On-Camera XTC II Softbox - Large XT-OCLRG II B&H Photo
The softbox increases the size of the flash head thereby softening the light. The bracket locates the flash directly above and at a greater distance from the lens in both orientations. The Hot shoe adapters and cord keep the whole set up useable in P-TTL mode for simplicity. OK, it's not dramatic or classic lighting but it works fine and is simple & dependable.
03-22-2011, 11:20 AM   #7
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Fun shot, Phil. I've always been a bounce-card gal for most stuff like that,

For convenience, I've been doing OK with a real cheapie of a collapsible diffuser on my little Metz that I got for like a buck with some Hong Kong step ring order, actually. (One of those things with a couple of little hoops and an elastic to hold a little tent of translucent white over the flash, and with a bit of foil reflector inside on one half of it. It gives really really flat light, but works pretty well with my low-power ambient mixing ways, and it's just kind of convenient to carry the flash around that way, ....Ought to be pretty good for outdoor fill, though I haven't really tried that (on people, anyway. I tried a little birdie-chasing in poor light.)

Probably it'll be back to the bounce card for anything serious, once I actually get an off-camera cord and bracket together.
03-22-2011, 03:12 PM   #8
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I've had very good luck with the Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce for my Pentax AF-540FGZ Flash. It's compact, I store mine on my flash, and it does a good job of diffusing the light. You can buy it for under $20.

03-23-2011, 01:38 AM   #9
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I use mostly umbrella and flash gel on flash stand and radio trigger.
Add-on important order: (1) flash gel, (2) stand, (3) umbrella, (4)gobos, (5) reflectors, (6) snoot, (6) foldable softbox. Flash gel is a must to blend the flash with existing light, but I can bounce or limit the light with other means.
03-23-2011, 08:46 AM   #10
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All,
I really appreciate all the input todate. But i have a "secret" agenda

Most of us buy a flash and leave it at that. If we get really fancy, we get a plastic diffuser or make a bounce-card as ratmagiclady mentioned. And i have both of those - made the bounce card out of plastic lens from an overhead panel - yea.
But beyond the world of diffusers and softeners, there is that creative moody world that i'm trying to get into.

benjikan issued that infamous (but well meaning) post a few months back about too much use of umbrellas which has been sticking to the recesses of my mind ever since.

AlohaDavid, Magkelly, and hoanpham all spoke to this more controlled use of light in their comments. In particular, see this photo from David's flickr link:

DIY flash grid | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

He used layers of something he called coroplast to make a DIY honeycomb grid. I can't do it this AM, but hope to post some DIY efforts along magkelly's comments to explore this further. I'll see if i can't find the link to the benjikan thread for any that are interested. in general, i don't think many of us are exploring the full creativity available from portable strobes - except for the pros of course.

best wishes,
03-23-2011, 06:42 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
AlohaDavid, Magkelly, and hoanpham all spoke to this more controlled use of light in their comments. In particular, see this photo from David's flickr link:

DIY flash grid | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

He used layers of something he called coroplast to make a DIY honeycomb grid. I can't do it this AM, but hope to post some DIY efforts along magkelly's comments to explore this further. I'll see if i can't find the link to the benjikan thread for any that are interested. in general, i don't think many of us are exploring the full creativity available from portable strobes - except for the pros of course.

best wishes,
That was from a postal basket. I just finished making 3 new grids from sheets of square channel coroplast (corogated plastic) that I picked up.

I made 10, 20, and 30 degree grids. The one in the link is pretty close to 30 degrees. I didn't follow any plan when I made the first one, but with the new ones, I followed the calculator on this page: Paulo Rodrigues Photography: Gridspot Design Calculator

I made the new ones because I wasn't really happy with it. I used a brown glue, and the whole thing gave a slight color cast.
03-24-2011, 12:20 AM   #12
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Dave, thanks for the new details on the grids!!!

Inspired by magkelly, i went through our pantry and found a box of triscuit crackers that i thought would make a nice rectangular snoot. I cut a hole in the bottom, slightly smaller than the flash head of my metz 48, and mounted it on a tripod in the vertical position (on top of a cactus radio trigger).

I then used that triscuit box and one flash in my lap to take a self picture of myself in this car. All done on a self timer. The shadows on my face are not very good, but the purpose of this exercise was to see if one could whip together a light modifier for a flash fairly quickly. I would have to say that magkelly is correct.

The cool thing about using the box of triscuits to get the light smeared across the hood of the car, was that i noticed a hard edge on the left side of the hood. So i took a box knife to the left side of the triscuit box and cut two corners so i could fold back the left edge of the box. Presto, i now had a gradual transition on the left edge to the shadows.

So below is a picture of the car with driver. the lighting on the hood is from the triscuit box. The next picture shows the cutout triscuit box rotated 90 deg out of the position it was used for the shot. The tape was used to keep the box in position during thte shoot. it was a fun exercise.

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[IMG]
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best wishes,

Last edited by philbaum; 03-24-2011 at 12:27 AM.
03-25-2011, 11:18 AM   #13
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X2 on the Stofen Omni-Bounce as my favorite speedlight modifier. Quick, easy, small and produces a usefully smooth diffusion of light. I had one for my old Nikon SB-50 and bought one along with my new Metz 58 AF2 for use on and off my K10.
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